Brasserie Chez Gérard
Heathrow Airside (Departures),
Terminal 3 Airside, London, TW6 1QG
Tel: 020 8607 5990
Food type: French/ Bistro
Food rating: 0/10
Nearest tube: Heathrow Terminals 1,2,3
Website: Brasserie Chez Gérard
I do apologize for being late to getting back to speed – between jet lag and a good Saturday night out, I do not have much spare time on hand. In addition, I will be beginning my 4 week elective at Ipoh General Hospital. It will be interesting to see how hard they decide to work me or if it is just a doss. Ideally, I would want an easy first week just to ease me back into the paces of medicine after a whole year doing research. Anyways, this review is of my meal at Brasserie Chez Gérard, Heathrow Terminal 3 shortly before my flight back to Malaysia.
Arriving 2 hours before my flight departed and having managed to check-in pretty quickly without much of a queue, I had plenty of time to get some grub before boarding the plane. I despise airplane grub with a passion, especially the dog food they serve on Malaysian Airlines. By the by, MAS have raised the prices of tickets yet again and yet the portions of meals being served are diminishing every single time I fly with them. Maybe, just maybe, it is them being humane and subjecting us to less torture than necessary when flying on cattle class (aka Economy). Unfortunately, as I was flying MAS and thus departing from Terminal 3, my option for food is rather limited with TGI Fridays, O’Neills, Caviar House & Prunier and Brasserie Chez Gérard as eat-in options. TGI’s at Heathrow, and in general, is pretty bad and although I had a great meal before at Caviar House & Prunier (they do some excellent smoked salmon and oysters) I thought I’d give Chez Gérard a try. Chez Gérard and Brasserie Chez Gérard are a chain of restaurants serving classic French cuisine.
Croquette D’Aiglefin, Epinards et Guyere
I was seated pretty quickly with the restaurant pretty empty. As I intended to stuff myself before starving for the next 12.5 hours, I decided to start my meal with some ‘Croquette D’Aiglefin, Epinards et Guyere’ or Smoked Haddock and Gruyère Cheese Fishcake with Lemon Mayonnaise and Baby Spinach Salad. The French do have a way of making things sound nice, because trust me, what appeared on my table was far from it. I was presented with a deep-fried fish cake with its filling spilling out. The fish cake was drier than the past couple of days in London. While it did retain the smoky flavour and texture of the smoked haddock, I did not pick up any of the creaminess Gruyère cheese. What was described as Lemon Mayonnaise was in fact a ‘Do-it-yourself’ job with a wedge of Lemon and a huge spoonful of Mayonnaise (from a jar no less) spooned at the side. I guess making Lemon Mayo is too difficult a task for the talented chefs in the kitchen. The baby spinach salad was a handful of spinach leafs dumped on the plate – no dressing in sight. Oh dear! Nowadays, £5 doesn’t really buy you much. A generous 1/10 for the fishcakes.
To follow, I thought I’d spoil myself a bit and went for the Wagyu ‘Picanha’ which was priced at a ‘modest’ £29. Why they have to give it such a rump steak such a complicated name is really beyond me. When it comes to steak, there is no hiding from the quality of your produce. As there is very little effort put into cooking the meat, a good piece of beef will taste good on the plate. The menu describes Wagyu steak as follows ‘For the serious steak lover, our exclusive cuts of Wagyu beef known as the most succulent and tender steak in the world with a unique and buttery flavour’. Just in case you think I am lying here is a picture of said quote:
Having taken a bite, I am quite tempted to take legal action against Chez Gérard for false advertising. The beef was neither succulent nor tender – despite my best efforts, I struggled to cut it with the knife provided. There was absolutely zero flavour in the beef, let alone any ‘butteriness’. I’ve had better tasting beef from Tesco’s than this attrocity. At one point, I questioned whether this was actually Wagyu. I’ve been told by A that one of her friends describes the steak at Chez Gérard to be the best he has ever eaten…. I wonder how long he was in prison for. The beef was at least cooked correctly (medium rare) although they did not sear off the strip of fat leaving it inedible. The steak was served with some grilled tomatoes, some french fries (or pomme frite as the french put it) and some horrible, gloopy Béarnaise. The french fries were at least not bad but it’s hardly rocket science when it comes to fries. As a whole this dish is deserves nothing more than a 0/10 as it did not deliver in terms of taste.
I decided to call it quits after mains as I actually felt sick eating the dross served. Service was amicable at best although they were slow to clear my plates – despite having 4 waiters and a manager with nothing to do (they were for some reason more interested in watching the people walking through Arrivals). People have been asking me to give marks (out of 10) for the places I have dined at and all this while I have been hesitant to do so because I find it difficult to quantify and it can be subjective at times. However, there is no shadow of doubt that my meal at Brasserie Chez Gérard scores 0/10. I would never ever return to this hellhole even if J decided that she wants to have her birthday here.
Oh and before I forget, their company tag line is ingeniously:
‘The best steak-frites this side of Paris’